Everything we interact with has complex data, whether it is about managing billing, invoices, notes, or anything else.
A management tool comes to the rescue to make things easier. Similarly, a CRM lets businesses efficiently manage all aspects and grow the business.
What is CRM?
CRM stands for Customer Relationship Management. CRM software enables companies to interact with their potential and existing customers and understand and manage their requirements. This improves an organization's relationship with customers, and a happy customer brings profitability to the business.
So, no matter how big your team is (small business or a big firm), CRM software always comes in handy when you want to keep things organized in your business.
You may avoid CRM software for a couple of employees when you start a business. However, you will eventually need CRM software to streamline the process and make the work efficient and fast.
But what about CRM software's level of control (or security)? Do you want transparent CRM software which you can take control of?
Well, that is when open-source CRM software comes into play. You can host it yourself and customize it as per your requirements. You may also opt for the hosted version, where you don’t have to manage it yourself.
While you can download the open-source version and host it on your Linux-based server, the ‘enterprise versions’ are hosted by the developers, so you don’t have to manage it.
In this article, we talk about some of the best open-source CRM tools I have encountered.
- Sever-basis charge instead of per-user subscription for hosted service
- Affordable managed hosting plans
- Supports third-party integration
- 30-days free trial
SuiteCRM was originally inspired (and forked) by SugarCRM’s open-source version. Well, that is no longer available. So, SuiteCRM is the open-source alternative for organizations that utilized SugarCRM before.
In addition to all the essential features a CRM offers, SuiteCRM offers some great affordable managed hosting deals for organizations. With an impressive pricing plan (on a server basis with unlimited users), SuiteCRM aims to take on Salesforce — which is promising.
The user interface offered is simple and easy to navigate. The interface and feature set are crucial for businesses so that they can focus on getting things done rather than spending time navigating around the CRM platform.
- Open-source edition available
- Enterprise edition pricing on a per-user basis
- Wide variety of third-party integrations
- 15-days free trial
Odoo is yet another popular open-source CRM solution. However, unlike SuitCRM, you will observe the pricing plan per user. Fortunately, they offer one free app with unlimited users to get you started. You can choose that and scale up your business later with paid options.
The third-party integrations can be done easily, and you can find the pricing for each app/integration when purchasing a subscription. You can opt for the open-source community edition or purchase the enterprise edition.
If you go for premium upgrades, the benefit could be its range of other offerings for billing, invoices, marketing, and more under a single roof, saving you time. The user interface might look straightforward but includes modern interactive elements with support for real-time overview.
Unlike some options, they have plenty of free courses (or documentation) available to help you learn more about their platform and its usage.
- Open source edition based on SugarCRM
- Separate pricing plans for Marketing, Sales, Help desk, or all-in-one
- Regional pricing available for some countries like India
- Per-user pricing
- 15-day trial
Vtiger offers a cloud version and an open-source version. Of course, if you opt for the open-source version, you can host and manage it or hire a team.
After observing the pricing plan, the managed cloud version looks promising. – with separate pricing plans for sales, marketing, and help desk. However, if you have the required technical expertise, the open-source version is also good enough.
Vtiger also integrates ChatGPT to enhance the platform experience taking the help of artificial intelligence. The ChatpGPT is an add-on that you may or may not opt for.
- The ability to switch to on-premise anytime.
- Actively maintained open-source (self-hosted) package.
- 30-day trial period (cloud)
EspoCRM is an interesting CRM software. You can download it for free and host it yourself or opt for the cloud solution where they do it for you.
They offer detailed documentation—in case you want to try it yourself. Furthermore, if you want to go with the cloud solution—you can always switch to on-premise anytime. I guess that makes it a bit more appealing.
The user interface may not be its strongest point for users who expect a modern user experience. However, it should be perfect if you want something simple and do not get in your way.
5. Axelor CRM
- A complete suite of ERP, CRM, and BPM.
- Mobile apps for Android and iOS
Axelor is a complete suite of ERP, CRM, and BPM. Here, we talk about the CRM, an incredible open-source CRM available.
In addition to the web app, it also offers mobile apps for Android and iOS. So, whether you host it yourself or purchase a subscription for managed hosting – Axelor CRM is a great choice to keep up across multiple platforms.
You can connect your favorite applications like Gmail, Outlook, and several other popular choices with Axelor. Unlike some, you must sign up with your details to try an online demo. It should still come in handy to help you decide.
6. Crust CRM (Corteza)
- A unified open-source solution
- Recently launched with latest features on board
Crust CRM is one of the best enterprise-level Slack/Salesforce alternatives. Well, the primary aim of Crust CRM is to provide you with a unified platform.
Crust CRM offers a community edition, “Corteza” which is open-source with all the latest features you get with Crust CRM. It is built in Golang, and aims to be a lightweight option for the cloud.
It takes a clean and simple user interface approach. One may say that it includes a blend of modern and traditional user experiences.
You can refer to its technical documentation to set it up. Croteza can be installed on-premise or in the cloud.
- Integration support for WordPress, Drupal, or Joomla
- Completely open source with no separate enterprise edition
CiviCRM is an interesting open-source CRM suggested by one of our readers. Unlike others, it does not offer a separate enterprise edition with premium features.
Hosting it yourself or utilizing one of CiviCRM’s hosting providers will get the same features.
There is also an interesting offering i.e. Spark, a lightweight hosted version of CiviCRM that provides quick setup, zero administration, and most of the features, with some limitations. Spark will be perfect for users who want something minimal, open-source, and privacy-respecting.
To learn more about it, you can follow their official user guide.
- Available via Softaculous
- Sever-basis charge instead of per-user subscription for hosted service
- Affordable pricing
YetiForce takes its inspiration from Vtiger CRM and a couple more open-source projects. It is completely free and available for download at Sourceforge.
You can also install it directly via Softaculous on a server. If you will not host it yourself, you can opt for the affordable hosting plans that support unlimited users.
Additionally, YetiForce features a wide range of abilities that could let you use it as an all-in-one platform, eliminating the need for Slack, Trello, and such for your business.
9. Apache OFBiz
- A suite of business applications that includes CRM
- Powerful Java Web Framework
- Open-source and Developer-friendly
Apache OFBiz may not be the most popular CRM solution, but it is a decent open-source suite of business applications. Unlike others, it does not offer any hosting options – you will have to take care of that (or hire someone to do it).
It also includes ERP with an integrated E-commerce solution. If you are looking for a single solution for multiple abilities – this could be one of the best open-source CRM software to consider.
10. Krayin CRM
- Completely free to use
- Built on Laravel
- Clean user interface
It offers a simple, easy-to-use, and modern user experience. Unlike some others, it is completely free without any optional premium options. You can still expect to find all the essential features needed for an enterprise.
The official documentation available gives you the necessary information to get started.
It can be an interesting choice if you prefer to host the CRM system on your server and manage it by yourself.
I had made the list of best open source CMS earlier. You may read that to know which open-source technology to use for creating your business website.
Coming back to CRM, if you would ever consider trying out an open-source CRM, these are the best ones I would recommend.
Did I miss one of your favorites? Let us know about it in the comments down below.